I tell this story a lot, but when I was little, one fateful halloween, my mom decided that it was a good idea for her to make my clown costume rather than purchase a ready made one. She bought the pattern and the fabric, and having only minimal sewing experience, set about cursing and crying and bleeding over the thing as I sat helplessly watching, pledging to never ever ever touch a sewing machine. This obviously didn't stick, and I think I probably pledged this same thing many times since then. I suppose, though reluctantly (because who wants to admit that they chose a major life path based on something that scared the shit out of them, as their first impression of the act was utter misery) that this experience led me to the place I am at now, literally sewing every day, all day. I was thinking about this today as I was noticing how easily so much of the process comes now. With sewing, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and headache by having some forethought about the order of operations in putting something together, especially with finishing. This used to be a mind puzzle that I continuously fucked up, as thinking too many steps into the future with technical stuff kind of confuses me (I take my driving directions only one step at a time), but today I knew to look at what was ahead and I knew what needed to happen before other things. It was gratifying to feel this comfort in my own muscle memory so to speak, and definitely allowed me to appreciate what all of the practice has done to ease my experience of this work. In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes about needing 10,000 hours of practice in order to attain a certain amount of flow or "perfection" in almost any endeavor. It is an estimate, but with this project alone I will "practice" only approximately 240 hours. One month straight of sewing and it is just a fraction of what is needed. Of course, I have many many hours under my belt already, but it sort of puts things into perspective.